Does the Minister agree that, contrary to the cynicism of some, the Beira patrol has achieved its objective in stopping the flow of oil through the Beira pipeline? Does he not agree that, if the Pearce Commission finds that the proposed settlement on Rhodesia is unacceptable to the majority of people in Rhodesia, we must now give a categorical assurance that we will maintain the patrol, if necessary extend it and bring all possible pressure to bear on Portugal and South Africa to stop by other means sabotage of the sanctions policy?
I agree with the first part of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question and have frequently said so. On the second part I refer to the hon. Gentleman to the answers given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on 27th March.
Although I understand that for security reasons the Minister cannot give the actual answer to my question, will he nevertheless promise that if he were able to answer "Nil" he would give us the answer, and will he be able to give that answer in about four or five months' time?
I am grateful for the first part of my hon. Friend's reply. Is he satisfied that, without this aerial support, the Beira patrol will be able satisfactorily to offer a proper salute to supplies of Rhodesian chrome and other materials, which British companies alone are not allowed to buy, as they pass out of Beira towards United States ports and other destinations throughout the world?